LIBRARIAN’S SEALOG No. 1

This is the first in a series of journal entries from SUNY Maritime Library Director and NYSHEI Board Member Constantia Constantinou.

LIBRARIAN’S SEALOG No. 1

UTC: 6/1/2008 at 11:33:26
2° 38.251′ E by 39° 32.977′ N
Course: 0° Speed: 0.0 knots

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Our first day at the Balearic Islands; We have arrived in Palma Majorca and granted liberty at 1700. Cadets and crew spilled into the city of Majorca in search of adventure.

An island of churches and Moorish architecture of 800 years Arabic occupation, castles, Spanish music, sangria, tapas, caves, mountains named Sierra Tramuntana and in between, lies a great flat plain that in early Spring becomes a sea of almond blossoms; Majorcans called it “the snow of Majorca”

A magnificent Cathedral, that took 400 to build with 9 bells. The larger bell, known as the N’Eloi “praise”, needs 6 men to pull the rope; when the N’Eloi rung, it shuttered the stained glass windows with its sound.

I attended the 1900 Mass to experience the liturgical magnificence of such a monumental cathedral and to listen to the priest read the gospel of Mathew in Catalan. While I was at the Cathedral, I run into a group of our 4/c cadets. After the Mass, I took around the interior of cathedral in search of Arabic and Muslim decorative motifs as the cathedral was once a great mosque. The task became our discovery adventure of tracing Time in History; among many signs we spotted emblems of the crescent moon on the cathedral’s ceiling. At the footsteps of the Alter, there was a big marble design of a skull and bones (symbols of a tomb). The cadets gathered around as I tried to translate the Latin text, … my Latin translation was not inspiring or impressive to the Cadets, so I defaulted to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusades by saying: “WE FOUND IT! –X- MARKS THE SPOT”! They all laughed, and I with them in hopes that curiosity will ignite their sense of adventure.

Constantia Constantinou
Library Director and Department Chair
Aboard the T.S Empire State VI
SUNY Maritime College

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